The capital city of Denmark is a haven of attractions that are enjoyed by travelers and locals alike, with everything you could possibly expect from a bustling metropolitan European hub, from nightlife to cuisine and world-class museums.
The area surrounding Copenhagen however is also full of places to visit that offer a respite from the city streets and instead transport you to fjords, lakes, castles and cliffs that are common throughout Scandinavia and each more breathtaking than the last.
With a remarkable public transport system and no end to the possible places of interest near Copenhagen, it’s easier than ever to take a break from city life and explore new and fascinating destinations all in the space of a day.
Let’s explore the best day trips from Copenhagen:
1. Kronborg Castle
Originally built in 1420, Denmark’s most famous castle has remained astonishingly intact over the centuries and as a result is an extraordinarily interesting place to visit, not to mention being stunningly beautiful.
Its location on the island of Helsingør offers visitors unrestricted panoramic views over the waters of Øresund Sound and also holds a great deal of historic significance as a crucial access point to the Baltic.
Learn about all this and more as you walk through the Castle Chapel, the tapestry laden West Wing and the magnificent Knight’s Hall.
Literature lovers will also be thrilled to know that this castle was the inspiration for the home of the timeless character Hamlet.
The now UNESCO listed castle hosts annual Shakespeare performances each year at the Annual Shakespeare Festival.
The third largest city in Sweden and undoubtedly one of the best ways to spend a day trip in Scandinavia – is the city of Malmö.
A mere hour away, the trip starts before you’ve even reached your destination with an eye-opening journey across the gigantic Øresund Bridge that connects Denmark and Sweden.
Once in Malmö, soak up the variety of Swedish architecture with everything from Scandinavia’s oldest preserved Renaissance style castle, Malmöhus Castle, to one of the tallest buildings in Scandinavia – the Turning Torso Building.
Other than this, get ready to enjoy the lively contemporary food, music and shopping scenes on offer by visiting spots like Stora Torget or on Sodergatan.
Be back in Copenhagen by nightfall or spend the night in one of the many world-class hotels or guest houses.
This pretty little city is most famously known for being the birthplace of Hans Andersen, one of the world’s most-loved authors of fairy tales and after seeing the place he grew up, you may leave feeling a little inspired yourself.
Filled with cobbled streets lined with timbered houses painted different shades of pastel, Odense is the perfect place to wander around.
Stop by the beautiful Munke Mose Park or sample some authentic Danish cuisine at Flammen.
4. Frederiksborg Palace
Dating back to the 1600’s, Frederiksborg Palace is famed for its vast and stunningly beautiful network of gardens that are punctuated by three islands on which the palace buildings stand.
The impeccably landscaped gardens serve as a backdrop for the palace Chapel, the Bath House Palace and The Museum of National History.
The museum is the other main attraction of the Palace, not only housed in a beautiful Baroque building, but exhibiting a full history of the castle, as well as Denmark itself and boasting an impressive collection of fine art, portraits and also contemporary pieces.
Not too far from Kronborg Castle, you can see the two in one day if you’re feeling ambitious, although both individually have enough to keep you occupied for the entire day.
5. Church of Our Lady
The town of Kalundborg is home to not only a charming Old Town and fascinating museum, but also to the famous Vor Frue Kirke, or, Church of Our Lady.
The structure was built in the 11th Century and remains incredibly well-preserved, not to mention beautiful.
The Church is most well-known for having five towers reminiscent of a Greek cross and sporting spires that are named after Saints.
The interior of the Church is equally impressive and makes the short journey from Copenhagen well worth it.
6. Nykøbing, Falster
Around 2 hours away from Copenhagen lies the island of Falster, which asides from being serenely picturesque, also contains the fortress town of Nykøbing.
The largest town on the island, it is home to some castle ruins but is mostly visited for the other attractions it offers, such as the vast and beautiful marina, constantly full of vessels and surrounded by places to eat and drink.
Also in town, you can visit the City Museum and the Middle Ages Center, both hubs of knowledge for the history in the area.
7. Lyngby Open-Air Museum
Only 15km away from Copenhagen but seemingly in a world of it’s own, the Lyngby Open-Air Museum is a perfect country escape from the capital and an incredible insight into the agricultural traditions observed nationwide for centuries.
A vast 35 acres in size, the Open-Air Museum is populated by farmhouses and mills, some that appear in other parts of the country and others that don’t.
Amongst the rich history of farming tools and methods, you’ll also find time to sit back and appreciate the beautiful fields, the animals grazing in them and the rustic but well-tended gardens.
With the option of exploring in a horse drawn carriage, a day to Lyngby Open-Air Museum will have you feeling at one with nature within minutes.
8. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Incredibly near to Copenhagen and even easier to get to with Denmark’s fast and reliable rail service, you’ll find the exciting and contemporary space known the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.
Boasting over 3500 internationally recognised works of art by household names such as Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore, the museum is a must see for anyone with an interest in art.
The location alone makes it a worthy day trip even if you’re not an art fan, as the museum stands on the water’s edge looking out across the Øresund Strait all the way to the Swedish coast.
The stunning scenery combined with the priceless art and a restaurant serving delicious Danish and international cuisine makes it one of the best day trips from Copenhagen.
9. Bakken Amusement Park
Make sure you bring your camera for this surreal day trip that includes everything from UNESCO World Heritage Sites to roller coasters.
Only 30 minutes away from Copenhagen Central Station you’ll find Dyrehaven forest park, a huge expanse of oak forest populated by wild deer and growing from gently rolling hills.
The forest itself is UNESCO listed for its beauty and as if that wasn’t enough, somewhere in the depths of the woods you’ll find Bakken Amusement Park.
The oldest theme park in the world, it features a rollercoaster that has been functioning since 1932 and shows no signs of slowing down.
Featuring Danish street vendors and restaurants to fill up on, the excitement never ends at this veteran amusement park.
Reachable from Copenhagen by bicycle is the beautifully quaint and colorful fishing village of Dragør, known for its picturesque thatched cottages and widely considered to be one of the prettiest destinations in the country.
Its so attractive that it’s the chosen location of many music and arts festivals in the summer months as well as year-round open-air markets selling everything from locally grown produce to endless varieties of freshly caught fish.
With a waterside museum and a farmhouse that can be explored by tour, Dragør is the perfect village getaway for those looking for a taste of traditional Denmark.
11. Egeskov Castle
Considered to be one of the most magnificent Renaissance castles in Europe and undoubtedly one of the best preserved in Denmark, Egeskov Castle is moated by a lake that encircles both the castle and its gardens.
These gardens include everything from hedge mazes and hedges themselves that are almost 300 years old.
The rooms inside are no less lavish, with a focus on historic toys, including Titania’s Palace, a doll house containing over 3000 painstakingly hand-crafted miniature items of furniture alongside other miniature works of art from all over the world.
12. The Cliffs of Møn
Reminiscent of the Cliffs of Dover in England, the Cliffs of Møn rise out of the Baltic Sea to the south of Copenhagen and form the habitat of a variety of protected species of flora and fauna.
Aside from wandering in the shadow of the enormous white chalk cliffs, there are a number of attractions bound to fascinate passers by.
One such attraction is the coastal cliff of Stevns Klint, famous for its evidence of the devastating meteorite that hit the Earth millions of years ago.
Here you can examine fossil records showing the recovery of life on Earth in the centuries following the event.
A stone’s throw away from the magnificent Cliffs of Møn is the largest of the South Sea Islands, the famously flat island of Lolland.
Aside from being a pristinely beautiful island, Lolland offers a host of activities for visitors, some more peculiar than others.
Alongside the usual array of picturesque churches and historic buildings, Lolland features Scandinavia’s largest manor-house park, known as Knuthenborg Safari Park.
The park houses almost 1000 animals including tigers and rhinos and is incredibly popular with tourists.
14. Den Blå Planet
The perfectly placed Den Blå Planet is the largest aquarium in Northern Europe and is surrounded on all sides by water, giving it an even more marine atmosphere.
The attractions are endless, with 50 aquariums and exhibits combined with not only sea creatures on show, but tropical butterflies and birds too in its very own rainforest exhibit.
The prize exhibit is the Ocean Tank, holding four million litres of seawater inhabited by everything from sharks to eels.
Easily reachable from Copenhagen by public transport, this fascinating day trip is a must see for nature lovers.
Dating back to the 1930’s Lego has been a household favourite toy for many years in almost every country in the world, so what better way to discover its roots than in the country it was invented in.
Denmark’s Legoland is an amusement park in Billund that has everything from a 4D Cinema to canoe rides through Lego-made waterfalls and attractions.
A touch of nostalgia combined with genuinely impressive craftsmanship makes this the perfect day trip for the whole family.